Are you looking to start a residential building or renovating project in Parkland County and not sure what permit requirements and regulations apply? We're here to help!

Parkland County regulates residential building projects through development and safety codes permits. These permits ensure that projects are safe and compatible with neighboring land uses.

Understanding the permits and approvals process

Did you know that there are different kinds of permits that you may need before you begin your project? For most projects, you will require a development permit followed by safety codes permits.

Development Permits review the use, location, and size of a building based on the Land Use Bylaw regulations.

Safety Codes Permits review projects for conformance with the National Building Code of Canada: 2020, Canadian Electrical CodeNatural Gas and Propane Installation Code, National Plumbing Code of Canada: 2020 and the Alberta Private Sewage Systems Standard of Practice 2021.

What can I do on my property?

The location, size, and use of buildings and other factors are regulated in our Land Use Bylaw. Before determining what you can do on your property, you will need to determine your Land Use District.

Determine your Land Use District using Discover Parkland.

  1. With Discover Parkland, you can view an online, interactive map to learn more about your property's zoning information, possible land uses and legal descriptions, as well as County services, facilities, aerial imagery and how to build your own maps. See Discover Parkland user manual.
  2. Is my project listed in the District's Permitted or Discretionary uses in the Land Use Bylaw?
  3. Will the building meet the setbacks defined in the Land Use District?
  4. Are there other regulations, such as maximum building height, site coverage, or minimum or maximum floor area that will be applicable to my project?

Each Land Use District has a set of permitted and discretionary uses which can be found in our Land Use Bylaw. Permitted uses are those deemed suitable in the Land Use District. In residential districts, these often include Single Family Dwellings and Accessory Buildings (garages, shops, sheds). Discretionary uses ensure that the location of the use is compatible with adjacent parcels, as not all sites in the land use district may be suitable for this type of development (i.e. Secondary Suite, Home Based Business). Discretionary uses are also subject to a 21-day appeal period, during which neighboring landowners have the right to appeal a decision.

Do I need a Development Permit for my residential project?

All dwellings, secondary suites, accessory buildings (over 10 meters-squared) and renovations or additions that expand building footprint (covered decks included) require a development permit.

To learn more about application requirements for different types of development projects, view “Types of Building Projects” below.

Do I need a Safety Codes Permit for my residential project?

The Alberta Safety Codes Act requires that all contractors and homeowners in Alberta get a safety codes permit before starting work on buildings covered by the National Building Code – 2019 Alberta Edition, or work governed by the Canadian Electrical Code, Alberta Gas Code or National Plumbing Code of Canada. Your project may need development permit approval prior to getting a safety codes permit.


Benefits and services

The major benefits of getting a safety codes permit are:

  • Knowing that the installation will conform to the safety standards adopted under the Safety Codes Act and all other applicable regulations
  • Knowing that safety codes officers will provide inspection(s) services

The services you can normally expect to receive with a safety codes permit are:

  • The permit itself
  • Plans examination (if applicable)
  • Inspection(s) by certified safety codes officers
  • Site Inspection Report(s)
  • Follow-up of deficiencies and/or unsafe conditions
  • Technical advice
  • Final report at the completion of the project

How to apply for permits with Parkland County

Parkland County has an online system, PLANit, where you can apply for permits! Our system makes it easier to apply, track your application status and correspondence, and view your approved permits all from one place – anywhere and anytime!

Check out PLANit Parkland

Applying is easy following these three steps:  

  1. Gather required documents for your application

View available forms and checklists on PLANitForms 
   2. Create an Account on the PLANit portal. 

You can find instructions on creating a portal account on the PLANit Help webpage including a YouTube how-to-video  

   3. Apply for your permits on PLANit Parkland.

You can find instructions on how to submit an application on the PLANit Help webpage including a YouTube how-to-video 

On the Portal Main Page, choose the area of application: Development, Building, Electrical, Gas, or Plumbing, & Private Sewage Permits

Choose your project type, and then your permit type.

Answer all questions and upload your supporting documents.

Apply for a development permit 

Apply for a building permit

Apply for the required mechanical permits depending on your project.

These can include:

Apply Now

Please Note: You cannot begin construction on your project until you have all your required approved Development and Safety Codes permits.

Permit processing times vary depending on the type of application, property district, complexity of the development, and other factors. Once a development permit is approved, you have 12 months to apply for your Safety Codes Permits.

Application resources and checklists

You can view available forms required for your PLANit Parkland applications, as well as checklists and other resources to help you prepare for your project. With PLANit Help, you can find step-by-step instructions, videos and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help you navigate PLANit Parkland.

The information you must submit varies depending on the type of project. Our application forms include checklists that help you determine what types of drawings and information are required.

Contact Planning and Development Services for assistance

If you are planning a project and need assistance, you can contact one of the Planning and Development Services team members by emailing hello@parklandcounty.com or by visiting the Parkland County Centre. Our team members can help answer your questions about land use, development restrictions and permitting requirements, and advise if you need permits from other agencies.

Permit fees and charges

View County fees associated with building permits, electrical permits, plumbing permits and gas permits, and other fees that may apply for your project. Permit fees vary based on the type, size and value of your project.

Inspections

Learn how to book any necessary inspections with Parkland County for your building project. Inspections may be needed at various stages of your project and permit applications.

Types of building projects

Most home building projects in Parkland County require the appropriate permits before you begin work. These may include any combination of:

View the information below to discover the checklists, processes and forms you will need to complete your PLANit Parkland application for your specific project.

Dwellings (includes new single-detached dwellings and manufactured homes)

Residential dwellings (including manufactured homes) require:


Permit information and checklists - Dwelling

View the following resources to help you apply for a new single-detached dwelling (Dwelling, Single Detached) or manufactured home:

Development Permit Resources

Safety Codes Permit Resources


Permit information and checklists – Dwelling (Single-Wide Mobile Home)

View the following resources to help you make an application for a new single-wide mobile (manufactured) home:


Development Permit Resources:

Residential Dwelling Development Permit Application Package


Safety Codes Permit Resources:

Accessory Residential buildings (garages, shops, sheds)

Residential structures exceeding 10 m2(108 m2) require:

Note: Buildings under 10 m2 must still meet all Land Use Bylaw regulations (i.e. setbacks).


Permit information and checklists - Accessory building (ex: garages, sheds, shops)

View the following resources to help you make an application for a new accessory building:

Development Permit Resources:

Safety Codes Permit Resources:

Renovations and additions (includes basement finishing and installing new electrical outlets, gas lines or plumbing fixtures)

View the following resources to help you make an application for a renovation to your home:

View the following resources to help you make an application for an addition to your home:

Development Permit Resources:

If you are expanding the footprint of your home, expanding the livable square footage (ex: converting garage space to bedroom), or creating a secondary suite, Development Permit approval is required. Finishing a basement does not require development permit approval if none of the above apply to your project.

Safety Codes Permit Resources:


Shingles, siding, windows and doors replacement

You do not need a permit to replace shingles, siding, windows and doors for your home. As long as you are not making structural changes (like increasing the size of openings), general maintenance of buildings (such as painting) does not require a permit.

Building a second dwelling, secondary suite or garden suite
Secondary Suites

A secondary suite (also known as a garden suite, in-law suite, basement suite or garage suite) is a discretionary use in many districts of the Land Use Bylaw. You will need development permit and safety codes approval from the County. View our Secondary Suite Application Package for more information.

A Secondary Suite:

  • Must have its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom and living quarters; and,
  • Is limited to the following floor area:
    • Minimum: 323 sq. ft.
    • Maximum: 990 sq. ft.

Types of Secondary Suites:

TypeDescription

Garden Suite

  • Separate building from the existing dwelling
  • Parcel must be 1.97 acres or greater
  • Also known as a Carriage Home, Granny Suite
  • No garage attached

Garage Suite

  • Suite traditionally located above a garage

Addition Suite

  • Suite located within an existing dwelling (not in basement)

Basement Suite

  • Located in the basement of an existing dwelling
Second Dwelling

An additional single-detached dwelling may be considered on agricultural parcels greater than 28 ha (not subject to floor area restrictions). The following application guides and information is applicable to applying for a second dwelling:

Development Permit Resources

Safety Codes Permit Resources

Decks, Fences, and Landscaping

Deck information and checklists

View the following resources to help you make an application for a deck exceeding 2 feet height from average grade:

  • Safety codes permits are required for all decks exceeding 2 feet
    • Safety Codes resources.
  • Development permits are required for covered decks
    • When attached to the home: see Renovations and additions
    • When detached from the home: see Accessory Residential Buildings

Fences

Fences built within the following parameters do not require development permit approval:

  • If your parcel of land is less than one acre in size, your fence can be no higher than six feet for rear or side yards and no higher than 3.3 feet for the front yard.
  • If your parcel is larger than one acre in size, your fence can be no higher than six feet on all sides.
Installing a hot tub, stove or solar panel system

View the following resources to help you make an application for installing a hot tub, stove or solar system:

Installing a new private sewage system

View the following resources to help you make an application for installing a new private sewage system:

Drilling a well

You do not need approvals or permits from Parkland County to drill a well on your land. However, before drill a well, we suggest that you:

View the Government of Alberta's overview of working wells to learn more about how to care for wells. View the Working Well Fact Sheet: Drilling a New Well.

New buildings for agriculture, livestock, hay and/or equipment

Farm or agricultural accessory buildings (i.e., a granary) may not require permits if the structure is:

  • directly and solely related to farming activity, as defined in the National Farm Building Code of Canada (Article 1.2.1.2) (not
  • on a parcel of two acres or greater in size
  • Meets all applicable setback, height, and site coverage regulations in the Land Use Bylaw
  • not a detached garage

A development permit is not required for permitted farming activities.